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Kuropatkin's grandiloquent known that by a single stroke order of the day, published on of the pen the Japanese had October 2, in which he declared recalled to the colours those that the Russian Manchurian veterans who had already Army was now strong enough passed into the territorial army, to begin its forward movement, making all and sundry liable yet we feel that Kuropatkin for foreign service for the space had at the moment some of seventeen and a half years. reason to be sanguine. On Kuropatkin may have September 26 the circum- gratulated himself upon Prince Baikal Railway had been Khiloff's energy and the comopened, making a very con- pletion of the circum-Baikal siderable difference to the Railway, but the additional rapidity with which supplies rapidity of transport ensured and reinforcements reached was but a flea-bite beside the him from his rear. He had in- expansive measures which formation from Europe which within three months would confirmed him in the belief double the number of the men that although his army had with Oyama at the front. Also, to retreat in front of the Kuropatkin had reason to conJapanese at Liauyang, yet it gratulate himself because not retreated before an enemy ab- only was the “going” better, solutely exhausted with the but for the most part the efforts it had made: moreover, millet, which had masked Continental information had Oyama's dispositions, had now heaped praise upon him and been harvested. There would his army. Also, his troops, be less uncertainty, less mystery though beaten, had recovered about the action which he protheir composure and enthusi- posed to fight. He had no fear asm with a rapidity which lent now in putting the plan to the colour to the belief that but test, and he reckoned that one more effort was required Stackelberg's experienced Siin order to settle finally this berians would be more than a impertinent race of yellow men. match in the hills for Kuroki's It must be presumed that at thinned and

weary ranks. this time Kuropatkin had no It will

It will be obvious

be obvious to the means of knowing that the most

cursory of

students Japanese had made every ar that Kuropatkin’s plan stood rangement to meet the severe to win or lose by the succasualty list which Liauyang cess of Stackelberg's column cost them; that even while the against Kuroki's right. The torches were being applied to main body of the Russian force, the funeral biers, seasoned re- which was to effect the great serves, men who were doing a strategical result on Kuroki's Manchurian campaign for the right, was cantoned in the second time, were marching up vicinity of Fu-chin-tang; its the sodden roads between outposts were held by Samthe port of debarkation and sonoffs Siberian Cossack DiviHaicheng: nor could he have sion, while to the left was Ren

It was

nenkampf's division, consist- shown any enterprise at all ing of eleven battalions and ten he could have possessed himsotnias of Zaibaikal Cossacks, self of the whole position, for The outposts were actually hold on the night of the 9th the ing the Kao-tu, Chi-tao, and Russian advance-guard of the Wang-fu Passes. The Japanese 13th Eastern Siberian Rifle were holding the Wan-yu-pu-tzu Brigade drove in all

the Pass as an advanced post. This Japanese outposts. But the pass appeared to the Russians Russians had been too slow; to be of great strategic value, and all through the day of and also of

considerable the 9th, though the Japanese strength.

Stackel- had been driven from the berg's intention to use it as a mountain


of which stepping-stone to the occupa- Hua-ling is the centre, yet tion of Pên-hsi-hu, the key of Kuroki had sufficient reinthe whole position in the west. forcements to enable them to On October 6 Stackelberg hold the corresponding ridge commenced his advance to which stretched from Tu-minthe south. He had subdivided ling to Pên-hsi-hu.

But even his command into three col- though Kuroki had reinforced umns, the right of which, his outposts, the position was passing through Chi-tao-ling, still critical; for General Lumoved directly upon Wan-yu- bavin, with five sotnias of pu - tzu; the centre, moving Zaibaikal Cossacks, had practhrough Wan-fu-ling and Hua- tically turned the position south ling, made Yu-niu-min its ob- of Pên-hsi-hu, by establishing jective; while the third col. himself, on October 10, on the umn, marching over the high Japanese rear to the south of passes of Kao-tu and Wang-fu, the Taitse-ho. This outflankhalted as a reserve at Sun-tu- ing attack was pushed with tsui-tzu. The observation of sufficient vigour by the Rusthe Japanese position at Wan- sians to enable them to seize yu-pu-tzu apparently delayed a position from which they Samsonoff twenty-four hours. opened rifle fire on the Japanese He could not make up his pontoon bridge and the rear of mind whether he should essay the Japanese trenches covering upon an attack. The Japanese Pên-hsi-hu from the east to the decided for him, for on the north-east. We can well im8th of October they evacuated agine how Lubavin, ensconced the position and retired to in this position, must have hunTu-min-ling. Samsonoff, there- gered for the infantry rein. fore, changed his march south forcements for which through and bivouacked that night at Samsonoff he vainly called to Yu-niu-min; while a portion Stackelberg and Rennenkampf. of his force crossed to the They were not forthcoming, and south of the Taitse-ho. Even Kuroki, pushing reserve after at this date Pên-hsi-hu was reserve up to the front, steadily held as little more than an bore back the little force, which outpost, and if Samsonoff had at one period completely turned

his flank. By October 12 of the dead and wounded JapSamsonoff's Cossacks had been anese that had been left on the chased back again to the north field, and Samsonoff on the exof the Taitse-ho. But although treme left was lamp-signalling the action which centred in the all the night for the infantry valley of the Taitse-ho is prob- support which either incompetably the most important phase ence or jealousy denied him. of the operations, yet it must But the morning of the 10th not be thought that the action was to produce a situation desof the Sha-ho was confined to tined to sweep aside in twentybattling in this enclosed coun- four hours the fond hopes which try. The fresh troops from had been raised in the Russian Europe, with flags flying and capital of a successful issue drums beating, advanced in a to this their supreme effort. steady stream down the rail- Oyama and his Council, sitting way to batter themselves to a within short reach of the standstill against Oku's masses. switch-board which gave them The centre army likewise pushed communication with every down in its endeavour to dis. important unit in the comlodge Kuroki's left and Nodzu's mand, found that although in right from the line they had places it had been necessary taken up covering Yentai. On for his advanced line to fall the 9th and 10th there was back in order to correct the severe fighting along the whole whole battle alignment, yet line. And the centre army had his troops, together with the some success, for crossing the latest arrived reserves, were Sha-ho in serried masses they now in a position to hold forced in the Japanese outposts and ward off the most vigoralong the river connecting ous of the Russian assaults. with Wan-yu-pu-tzu, and dis- Moreover, the Russians had lodged the brigade of Nodzu's been four days on the move, infantry which was holding the and the very force of their highlands Hai - ma - teng and energetic attacks had enfeebled Sun-mu-pu. In fact, the Rus- them. Oyama and his advisers sian impetus on this front was determined to undertake the so great that on the night of the most hazardous operation in 9th Linevitch's outposts were war. They decided that very within five miles of the coal. night to change from the acmines at Huan-pu. On the night tive defensive to the offensive, of the 9th, therefore, there was and to carry the initiative all a sufficient element of success along the line into the Russian covering the whole of the fight- positions. Hitherto the fighting ing which warranted the san- had been severe, and in places guine reports of a success which even critical; now it was to reached St Petersburg. The become desperate and bloody. Warsaw battalions had pushed On the night of the 10th the right down to the Yentai rail. Japanese centre, — those bold way station, Linevitch's out. battalions of Nodzu's which posts were rifling the pockets had won the outer ring for

Oyama at Liauyang, and faith in these new troops from which again in the future were European Russia. And for to be the troops which decided fresh troops they fulfilled their the fate of Kuropatkin as a gen- promise well, for in spite of eral on the sanguinary field at the fact that Oku got his left Mukden, released from the leash, division practically round them hurled themselves against the from the direction of the Hunhigh ground which formed the ho, and in spite of the fact that key of the Russian central posi- under his concentrated fire he tion, five miles north-east of the hurled assault after assault Yentai coal-mines. Meanwhile on them with his wonted and Oku, who never flinched from a indefatigable vigour, yet they task requiring the utmost endur- stood, and stood well, suffering ance from his men and the most decimation until the morning awful sacrifices, precipitated his of the 12th, when they showed almost superhuman battalions signs of wavering. Then the against the intrenchments Russian centre began to give covering the Yentai Station. definitely. It was the same For twenty-four hours, again old story of Japanese perseverand again, were these fierce ance. They had worn the Rusonslaughts made. Time after sian resistance threadbare. time they failed, even as they On the extreme right, that had failed at Sa-san-po, Ham- is to say at Pên-hsi-hu, matters a-tan, and Tasitchiaou. The had mended for the Japanese. flat tops of the ridges were Originally occupied by a brigblasted away by the concen ade, the position had now been trated vigour of a hundred reinforced until it held 20,000 pieces, till at last, after a des- men, which made it secure perate hand-to-hand conflict against the threatened danger. with the bayonet, the Russians This being so, ten squadrons were driven from their hold, of Japanese reserve cavalry leaving eleven guns and one were able to

to the hundred and fifty prisoners north bank of the Taitse - ho behind them. The number of at Men-chia-pu, and coming in the prisoners was just one-tenth upon the Russian infantry at of the number of maimed and Yu-niu-mu, they swept them motionless Russian figures lying back with dismounted rifle-fire. on the slopes, and one-twentieth On the night of the 12th, of the little khaki-coated heroes therefore, the result of the who proved definitely on those battle was assured. Stackelblood-sodden slopes that the berg's operations had failed, bayonet is not yet obsolete. and the most advanced vanMoreover, Oku had got his tage-points that his mounted left division round, and was troops had seized had been threatening Kuropatkin's West- wrested from him. Not only ern conscripts from the direc- was Pên-hsi-hu now so strongly tion of the Hun-ho. Sympa- held that it would have been thisers and theorists on the futile to have directed further Continent had pinned their operations against it, but the



Japanese themselves had taken tion, and knowing that Kurothe offensive, and, instead of patkin still had untouched halting, were steadily driving six fresh divisions in reserve, the Russians back to the line and was daily receiving reinof the river-way. On the 13th forcements from the north, the weather had changed, and Oyama stopped the pursuit heavy wind, rain, and thunder and threw out his outposts storms swept across the dismal along the line of the Sha-ho. battlefield. Decisive operations But his orders had not circuwere impossible, but through- lated in time to prevent Genout the day there was an eral Yamada's Division from incessant roar as the rival crossing the Sha-ho. This armies ground iron and lead force was cut off and overinto each other. With the line whelmed by the Russians, of the river at his back, which losing fourteen guns and a this very storm would probably large number of prisoners. swell so that it became unford Thus ended the battle of the able, and with the roads knee- Sha-ho, which, in point of deep in morass, Kuropatkin numbers engaged, the realised that his gigantic opera over which the operations took tions, that his extreme effort, had place, and the issues involved, failed. Fearing lest he should is probably, with the exception already have hung on too long, of the subsequent battle of early in the afternoon of the Mukden, the most famous of 13th he gave the order for his all time. In actual casualties own column and that of his it cost the Russians 47,000 left to fall back and take up officers and

men: they also a line on the Sha - ho. À lost thirty-five field-guns and a general retreat began,-Stack- proportionate amount of stores elberg on the 14th falling back and ammunition. The Japanto the mountains by the orig ese casualties in one of the inal road of his advance. three armies engaged was The retirement was slow, and 16,000. If we add 20,000 to for the next three days the this number to cover the losses Japanese struggled to turn it in the two remaining army into a rout. But for many corps, we shall probably apreasons, the chief of which was proximate the numbers which probably the state of the roads, the success cost them—36,000 together with the exhaustion officers and men and fourteen bred of eight days' stubborn guns. fighting, the Japanese were We have given the reason unable to effect à signal dis- which, to the ordinary student, aster upon their enemy, other will seem the most natural for than the enormous losses which Oyama's decision to halt on the retirement entailed. The the south bank of the Sha-ho; Russians threw themselves but although we give this, we doggedly into their prepared do not depart from the suspicion trenches to the north of the that even in this case also the Sha-ho, and realising his posi- Japanese were governed in their

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